Budget announcements applauded for strong funding commitment and focus on health

The substantial financial commitment allocated to health in last night's Budget is to be commended and sends a welcome message that the Federal Government is serious about investing in health reform in this country to ensure better health outcomes for all Australians, says the Australian Psychological Society (APS).

"In particular, the $1.2 billion boost to primary health care and the establishment of a nationwide network of primary health care organisations in local communities (to be known as Medicare Locals) will provide the framework to enable all Australians to access integrated multi-disciplinary health care", said Executive Director of the APS, Professor Lyn Littlefield. "This injection of funds for primary health care complements the recent COAG agreement on health reform involving the establishment of Local Hospital Networks, and will provide a more comprehensive approach to health service delivery.

Professor Littlefield noted that crucial to the success of these Budget health reform announcements will be enhanced community access to the range of skilled allied health professionals, who are essential to addressing the health challenges in the Australian community.

"As the new primary health care network is rolled out, we anticipate significantly expanded roles for psychologists and other allied health professionals to support health promotion programs, early intervention strategies, chronic disease management and community-based mental health care."

The efficacy of the Budget health reforms is further supported by the announcement of a substantial investment in establishing electronic health records for all Australians.

"This is a smart move as it will contribute greatly to streamlining health care for patients and increase efficiency for all health professionals working within the health care system," said Professor Littlefield.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Ellise McLoughlan
Public Relations and Marketing Coordinator
Australian Psychological Society
T: 03 8662 3301 | M: 0435 896 444 

Lynne Casey
Senior Manager Communications and Public Interest
Australian Psychological Society
T: 03 8662 3370

The APS is the largest professional association for psychologists in Australia, representing more than 18,500 members. The APS is committed to advancing psychology as a discipline and profession. It spreads the message that psychologists make a difference to peoples' lives, through improving psychological knowledge and community wellbeing.